Viparita Karani is a very easy to perform yoga pose and with great benefits, it is a great pose and almost everyone can do it with ease. It is considered a restorative yoga pose for the reason that it gives a deep body and mind relaxation and it helps revitalize and promote the body’s natural ability to heal. It is also ideal to relax, rest your legs, improve circulation, pause and regain calmness when we are overwhelmed with stress and work. It has all the wonderful benefits yoga can offer.
The position of the raised feet position is perfect if you want a break from an intense day and it is the classic recommendation of yoga during the hot days as well. In addition to this gentle inversion, which has wonderful self-cooling and soothing effects, there are some other complementary restorative yoga poses as well. They are pleasant and easy exercises that benefit everyone. During the summer, this position can be further supplemented with asanas for summer of beginner and intermediate level.
The warm months arrive with a lot of energy and expansion. Heat is a manifestation of prana, the vital energy. Therefore, the summer has qualities of courage, movement and vitality. However, the external heat tends to rise our own inner heat and increase pitta qualities in our body, one of the doshas that identifies with the tradition of Ayurveda and consists of water and fire. Pitta makes us passionate, sharp, creative and impetus. But we can also feel a bit anxiousness or irritability during this time, of course due to being well heated, hence, it has importance for balance.
Viparita Karani yoga pose brings us the following physical benefits;
- It improves circulation and induces a state of rest and relaxation.
- It lowers body temperature and helps to rest your legs, giving a lift to the back.
- It can help treat migraines.
- It promotes the work of the heart.
- It is also helpful to treat insomnia.
- It helps in the treatment of varicose vein.
- It promotes breathing and helps treat digestive problems.
- It reduces menstrual cramps.
Viparita Karani offer us the following spiritual benefits;
- It calms the anxiety, stress and mild depression.
- It improves mood and give peace, tranquility and concentration.
Precautions and Contraindications
Viparita Karani should not be practiced by people suffering from glaucoma or high blood pressure and People with neck injury should also avoid it.
How to do Viparita Karani?
- Place two blankets folded against a wall, or two yoga cushions to give more support to the buttocks and waist since it has the longest part against the wall for higher elevation. Sit next to the wall on the cushions or blankets.
- Support the body weight on the palms of hands and turn to the wall, lifting the legs with knees bent toward chest. Take the buttocks closer to the wall and support shoulders on the floor.
- Now stretch your legs and rest them against the wall and rest your head and neck on the floor. The palms are to be up and eyes closed.
- Try to be fully present in peace. Keep this inverted position for three to five minutes, then lower your legs and return to Savasana for a few minutes.
Before you start practice of Viparita Karani, you can begin with two simple stretches to open the hips. Raise your right leg to 90 degrees, keeping both legs straight and feet flexed. In the next breath, grab your thigh firmly with both hands and bring it as close to your chest as possible. Close your eyes and make three breaths.
Now inhale deeply and exhale while lifting the trunk of the floor and try to grab your calf or ankle. About your front knee in each breath, use the muscles of your abdomen and ensure your shoulders are not tense and you are not doing arm strength. Keep your legs straight and feel the stretch. Hold breathing for 30 seconds. Support back on the floor again.
Bring the right knee to your chest and thigh lightly pressed against your chest, pressing below the knee. Do five deep breaths. Try to bring the forehead to the knee, lifting your head, then head back to the floor and draw circles to the left and then right foot, releasing the ankle. Then release the leg, stretch it and lower it with control. Repeat on the opposite side.
Now continue in Savasana. Lie on your back on the floor near a wall, on a yoga mat or blanket. Separate legs to the width of yoga mat and allow your feet comfortably open sideways. Separate the arms of your body and rest your hands with palms up.
You can turn the head slowly back and forth to release tension and shake your shoulders. Feel your body ‘melting’ on the floor, how it is strained with your thoughts while increasingly spaced. Concentrate on your breathing, inhaling, exhaling naturally to enter a state of deep relaxation. Practice this pose keeping this inner state.